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Have money? Own a piece of World Cup history

Last updated on: April 7, 2011 08:39 IST

Have money? Own a piece of World Cup history

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Masoom Gupte in Mumbai

The moment - when Mahendra Singh Dhoni walloped a full delivery from Nuwan Kulasekara over the long-on boundary for a mighty six to win the World Cup after 28 long years - will be etched in the memory of Indians for decades to come.

And, the price to own a piece - the ball used in the final over of the ICC World Cup - of that historical moment also promises to be part of the cricketing folklore. It is on the stands for a whopping $47,800 (Rs 21.3 lakh).

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Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Photographs: Reuters.
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In a first, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is auctioning the official coins used in the toss before every match and the balls used in WC 2011 matches.

The move, ICC officials said, was aimed at presenting cricket fanatics with a "never before and potentially never again opportunity" to own a piece of WC history.

The auction is turning out to be yet another cash cow for the ICC. The amount raked in through these auctions till date stands at $1,34,124 (Rs 59.79 lakh) for 44 toss coins and five cricket balls (excluding those used in the finals).

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Image: Big money from products.

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Almost one-fourth of the amount was contributed by the sale of the toss coin and match ball used in the India-Pakistan semi finals. The toss coin was sold for $13,600 or Rs 6.06 lakh and the match ball for $20,200 or Rs 9 lakh.

While toss coins - designed and minted for the purpose - used in all matches are being auctioned, cricket balls used only during the final three stages of the Cup would go under the hammer.

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Image: ICC to sell toss coins.

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The coins have the ICC WC 2011 logo on one side and the image of the cup on the other, with either side clearly marked as heads and tails.

"Until now, typically local currency coins would be used for the toss. This was the first time coins were minted specifically for the purpose," confirmed Dhiraj Malhotra, ICC WC co-ordinator.

So far, bids have been closed for 44 toss coins. The average price fetched by non-India matches is $1,000. However, for the India matches, the lowest selling price was around $ 2,500. Not surprising for a nation where cricket is a religion.

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Image: ICC WC trophy.

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Memorabilia collectors believe the limited edition items will increase their worth many-fold over the years, making these both collectible and an investment in equal measure.

Buying these items is fairly simple, interested buyers must register on the icc-auctions website, providing their personal details.

Once registered, they receive a username and password to login and bid for the items of their choice. Before placing a bid, they must key in their credit card details.

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Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni with the World Cup Trophy.

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While the bid amount is not charged to the card immediately, it is primarily to verify the authenticity of the transaction.

Incremental bids must be in tranches of $100 or on conversion, approximately Rs 4,500.

The coin and the ball will reach the buyer in a deluxe presentation case accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity and an official licence from the ICC.

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Image: ICC Merchandise.

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These are sold in an 'as-is' condition. In common parlance, this means the buyer must take the goods at his own risk, without recourse against the seller for their condition or performance.

Besides, the website is also auctioning limited-edition cricket bats signed by Indian batsmen - M S Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir and Virendra Sehwag.

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Image: Badge representing India.

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While the one signed by the captain himself has received 67 bids until now and was pegged at $2,600, the fabulous knock by Gambhir seems to have failed to stir buyer interest, considering the bat signed by him has just one bidder so far and has not managed to cross the reserve price barrier or the minimum bid amount.


Image: Gautam Gambhir.
Photographs: Reuters.
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